In today’s digital era, screens are everywhere and our kids watching screens excessively! From smartphones to tablets, laptops, and televisions, it seems like we’re always surrounded by technology.
While these devices are a great source of entertainment and education for our children, the amount of time they spend staring at screens has become an alarming issue.
As parents, it’s important to understand how much screen time is too much and what effect it could have on your child’s development.
So let’s have an idea about whether your kids watching screens excessively
How screens affect children?
|What excessive screen viewing can do? |
Can lead to sleep problems.
Can cause eye strain.
Can make it harder to focus.
Can cause posture problems.
Longer sitting can cause obesity.
Harmful without parental control.
Social isolation Impacts creativity
It’s no secret that screens are everywhere and are going to stay.
They’re in our pockets, on our wrists, in our homes, and at our workplaces.
And while they can be incredibly useful tools, there’s no denying that they can also have a negative impact on our lives.
This is more so when it comes to children.
While there’s no need to completely avoid screens, it’s important to be aware of how they can affect children.
Here are some of the ways that screens can negatively impact kids:
1. Screens can lead to sleep problems: The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the body’s natural sleep cycle.
2. Screens can cause eye strain: The constant staring at a screen can lead to eye strain, fatigue, and even headaches. Children’s eyes are still developing, so they’re even more vulnerable to these effects.
3. Screens can make it harder to focus: Constantly looking at a screen can make it harder for the brain to focus on other tasks. This is especially true if the task requires sustained attention or concentration (like homework or reading).
4. It is observed that children while watching TV etc do not sit in the correct posture, which leads to back pain issues.
5. Obesity is also linked to kids watching screens excessively.
- The content on media may not be safe for children to watch. Screen viewing without parental control can be harmful.
- There are negative contents drawing children towards violence and making them do risky stunts
- There is no check with regard to providing age-appropriate content.
- Children’s spending more time before TV, video games, etc has led to social isolation and loneliness, as well as an increased risk of developing anxiety or depression.
- The creativity of children is impacted as they don’t have time for such activities or reading books.
- Easy solutions available through the internet are coming in the way of their making natural progress in learning and research.
How to limit screen time for children?
|What to do? |
Ensure enough physical activity and sleep
Create screen-free zones in your home where your child can go to take a break.
Follow the same screen conduct you expect your children to follow,set the precedence for them.
Discourage their individual screen devices.
Provide creative alternatives.
There are a few things you can do to limit your child’s screen time:
1. Set limits on the amount of time your child can spend on screens each day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children aged 2 and under should not have any screen time, children aged 3 to 5 should have no more than 1 hour per day, and children aged 6 and up should have no more than 2 hours per day.
2. Make sure your child is getting enough physical activity each day. Children should be getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, so make sure they are spending some time outside or doing other activities that get them moving.
3. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep each night. A good rule of thumb is that children should be getting 10-12 hours of sleep each night, so make sure they are going to bed at a reasonable hour.
4. Create screen-free zones in your home where your child can go to take a break.
5. Set out other rules for watching TV or using computers etc, and link them with the positive behavior or habits you would like to have them.
6. Screen should not be used as a tool to control or pacify children. Once they understand the power and reward of irritating their parents they start to sort of use the same habit of throwing tantrums etc to get more screen time.
7. Watching screens interferes with sleep, so switch off the screen about 1 hour before going to bed.
8. Keep track of the programs and contents being watched by the children for their view-worthiness.
9. Follow the same screen conduct you expect your children to follow-set the precedence for them.
10. Be creative and imaginative as a parent and find substitutes for screens for the children.
11. Watch for any behavior change and its linkage with the programs they are watching,
12. Discourage their individual screen devices and if possible their screen shall be viewable to other persons too.
13. They should not be allowed to use screens while some guests come home or when they are unsupervised, rather children should be encouraged to join family gatherings.
Alternatives to screen viewing
There are many alternatives to screen viewing for kids. Some alternatives include:
- Playing outside
- Reading books
- Talking and spending time with family
- Participating in creative activities
Alternatives to screening give kids the opportunity to be active and engage in positive activities. These alternatives can help improve kids’ physical and mental health, as well as their overall well-being.
In conclusion, excessive screen viewing can have a negative effect on your children’s physical and mental well-being. It is important to monitor the amount of time they are spending in front of screens each day and find ways to reduce their usage as much as possible.
Encourage them to get outside more often and participate in other activities such as sports or art classes. Setting ground rules when it comes to using devices and having regular conversations about this topic can help ensure that your kids are getting the right balance between online activities and real-life experiences.